The 10 Worst Beauty Mistakes I’ve Made

taylor momsen

Happy Memorial Day! I have decided this would be a good day to take a walk down an entirely personal memory lane, and really look back at every awful beauty decision I’ve ever made. Maybe it will stop you from making the same mistakes, if you’re the kind of weirdo who goes into beauty salons and makes the worst possible requests of your hairdresser.

Age 11: Accidentally got a mullet. I didn’t mean to! I did not plan this one! Look, I wanted to look like Jennifer Aniston. It was 1997. I went in asking for “all the layers.” For the rest of my life, every time I go into a hairdresser, the first thing I say is “Very few layers. In fact, as close to one length as possible.” No hairdresser will ever do just one length.

Age 13: Had pretty much all of my eyebrows waxed off. Not entirely. I did not, say, wax them all off in the manner of some movie star from the 1920′s and then draw them back on. I encountered one woman who did this, and she drew them back on inexplicably in purple, so, basically, what that anecdote is meant to illustrate is that I knew that if you waxed all your eyebrows off you might lose the ability to distinguish colors from one another. So I didn’t do that. I just made them into a tiny, skinny line. I was warned that they might never grow back properly, but assumed that was one of those things adults lied about like, “You need to know how to do long division” or “You’ll really appreciate knowing how to play the piano later in life.” The weird little bits towards the end? They never really grew back properly.

Age 14. All foundation, all the time. Look, this was not entirely my fault. This was the fault of not figuring out that rosacea was not just normal acne. So, in an attempt to cover the red blotches over my face I spent all of high school basically wearing the face make-up of a geisha. I think it looks a lot better when geishas do it. Or vampires. Vampires or ghosts both look really good that way.

Age 16. The one summer I tanned. Again, this was mostly an attempt to combat the fact that I have pretty blotchy red skin, the best cure for which I seemed to decide was to tan the hell out of it. I spent most of the summer lying on my balcony on a black towel (to get more sun) trying to turn myself the approximate shade of Lindsay Lohan. The thing is, that was never destined to work. My skin does not tan. It just peeled off in chunks, sort of like a crocodile. A sad tomato colored crocodile. I guess the upside was that my skin was red and blotchy all over instead of in isolated areas. The downside is probably that if I die of skin cancer, it will be because of this summer.

Age 17: Slept on curlers every night. I naturally have pretty frizzy hair and figured this might be one way to tame it. In an attempt to not seem like I slept on curlers every night, I told everyone my hair was naturally curly. I kind of figure that since it slowly reverted to its natural state later in the day, people probably figured me out on this one. My scalp also got very, very bruised.

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    • Lemona

      I too had a mullet once. I was much older than 11. I said, “Let’s go a little shorter, but keep the layers,” and I ended up with a crew cut on top and a longer layer in the back. It was so awful my friends didn’t even pretend it was okay.

      • Kathleen J. McKellar

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    • Kathy

      How about convenience store make-up? Those foundations were like smearing calk over my skin. Paying extra for quality make-up is essential, something I couldn’t understand as a teenager (or afford).

    • Deb

      I use press-on acrylic nails to help me prevent myself from biting my own nails. I always get compliments on them and when people ask where I get my nails done, they are always surprised that I do them myself. I do agree that some press-ons look ridiculous, you just have to make sure you get the “real short” option so they look more natural.

    • Eileen

      I had the nails experience at 14, only they were professionally done tips and oh god never again. Then when I was 15 it was a ceramic flat iron, which was so hard on my hair, and so much foundation to hide my acne when it didn’t really hide my acne. When I was in college I pretty much stopped wearing makeup except on special occasions, so I didn’t have anything excruciatingly bad, but one time at 19 I was so frustrated with my long, full-of-split-ends hair mess that when it got caught in in my school bag I actually yanked it out instead of trying to untangle it. I decided then and there that I had to get a haircut or I would cut it off with my desk scissors. There were a couple of nice, reasonably priced places nearby, but I went to school in a pricey neighborhood of a fairly expensive city, so none of them had walk-ins at the moment and I needed a walk-in then and there. Finally I found one…and got a perfectly acceptable, almost-all-one-length cut just above my shoulders. That cost $60. My mom could’ve done it. Never again.

    • JennyWren

      How about using your mother’s only, cheap-ass, probably expired, dusty bottle of fake tan that you found at the back of the cupboard, but only on the one arm because you wanted to see what it would turn out like before committing fully? Somehow, I don’t think people totally accepted my ingenious story about mistakenly leaning on a recently-varnished fence.
      Also, home-dying your hair progressively darker shades of brown so that eventually you end up with frazzled, blue-black hair that looks like a Halloween wig and only realizing after you see the photos how far this has gone.

    • CaraJean

      White eyeliner. Lots of it. And I have naturally medium/tan skin. While I thought at the time it complimented my blue hair, it in fact did not. Terrible.

    • S.

      I have so many things to share!

      One of the worst: I have fair skin and dark thick hair so when I was 13 I became paranoid about the hair on my face and used Nair on my upper lip. It gave me chemical burns and I looked like a bonobo monkey because my upper lip was all red and swelled up. I thought this was natural and continued to do it every week for like a year! I was so stupid.

      I tried to wax off those normal side-burn type hairs from my face using cold wax. I didn’t know it had to be hot for it to work. I peeled some skin off but that was it.

      I definitely got a mullet in between. And I’m sure it was Jennifer Aniston’s fault.

      I used those steel plated straightening irons people had back in the day before ceramic straightening irons. I made so much of my hair fall out!

      This one isn’t beauty but fashion. I wore a bunchy bra that was too big for me (hence the bunchiness) under a tight shirt. The shirt was nude coloured and really thin wool. To this day I cringe when I think of that.

    • Sarrineels

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    • http://www.facebook.com/elicata1 Elizabeth Licata

      I tried to use an old curling iron in China without checking the voltage. Suddenly the room was full of smoke and the smell of burning hair, and a 2″ wide chunk of hair sizzled and fell right off. It came off at the roots, right at the front of my head. I started parting my hair on the other side.

    • Evil Stepmom

      I got a perm, which stayed remarkably bouncy and curly for about 8 months until it grew out enough for my roommate to help me cut it out. The sleek bob that resulted was lovely, but clown hair from hell that preceded it managed to scar me for quite some time.

    • davidmiller

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    • Sean

      I tried using Nair to shave once. Seemed quicker.

    • Katie

      I didn’t have a mullet… but I ended up with the Carol Brady flip out hair once.
      Also, cornrows.
      Also, pink hair gel.

    • Lauren

      Sun In. I have dark brown hair. When I was in seventh grade everyone was getting blonde highlights. I wasn’t allowed to get them because my parents didn’t want to pay for their 13 year old’s highlights and thought that a 13 year old shouldn’t be dying their hair. So I took matters into my own hand and bought something similar to Sun In from Bath and Body Works. I was going to have beautiful blonde hair. I actually had bright orange hair. And as punishment for not telling my parents I was dying my hair by myself I was not allowed to dye over it darker. So for like a full year I had orange hair. Orange hair with dark brown roots. Not a good look.

    • LindsayCross

      I have extremely blond hair and super fair skin. I always have. In high school, a friend invited me to go get my eyebrows waxed, because she had dark hair and that was something she had to do. Even though you can hardly see my eyebrows, I decided to try it out…. with my super fair, super sensitive skin.

      I had blisters and bright red, raw skin lining my eyebrows for approximately two weeks. And my eye brows were just as barely visible as ever.

    • http://redlipspinkcheeks.blogspot.co.uk/ Georgie

      Age 16 (i.e. way too old to do something this silly) applied multiple layers of MAC Skinfinish finishing powder with a foundation brush. That was a particularly bad period in my life for photographs.

    • Cheri

      Mullet, here. I was eleven as well, actually.